After my second audition to DRM200 (when I was actually hoping to get into DRM200), it took a week or two for the names to get posted. My name was on the list, as well as another GSS student – my friend, Anjali Mulligan.
I have to say, I was pretty happy – since the massive failure of Engineering, this was one of the first times that I got the sense that something within the University was interested in me. My bruised ego was getting some ice put on it.
I was happy, but also a little apprehensive. You have to remember, I hadn’t been on stage since 2004, and this was two years later. I felt rusty. And, again, the style of theater that I’d learned at GSS was very different from what was taught at the UCDP, and I didn’t know if I could change my spots.
Those who’ve worked in theater know that stage work is very intimate with the other actors. You spend loads of time with each other, you have to be able to get into each other’s space, you have to understand each other’s perspectives. Since I had been in Engineering for a year, I’d gotten used to feeling isolated, and working alone. This would be my first exposure to ensemble work in quite some time.
So, I was gratified in finding out that I had an outstanding class. All very talented, all very friendly. Collectively, we had a hodge-podge background: first year students, mature students, students from other countries, students who had worked professionally in film and television, and more.
It’s wonderful how, when a group goes through hardship, they bond – like melting under heat and pressure. Over the course of the year, working with instructor Ken Gass on scenes, improvs and monologues, we all became very close. It was a very good feeling.
The UCDP has a very positive atmosphere in the student community. We all look out for each other. When the 200’s do their first monologues, the entire student body usually shows up to support. It is overwhelming, intimidating, and wonderful. The 200’s just recently did their Shakespeare scenes, and the audience was packed. The 300’s also did some contemporary work, and a ton of students showed up.
So, the take home message: the community at the UCDP is really talented, great and supportive. You’ll be hard pressed to find a more interesting collection of people!